Page 1 of 2
#1
I would like to know the definition of a 'good' guitarist. Am I a good guitarist if I play clean(no clams), fast(think Rusty Cooley) & have gear worth kilobucks?
#2
Clean - depends on the skill level of the piece, fast - no, gear - definitely no IMO that's what would be a sign of a good guitar player.

But really the term 'good' is subjective and really their is no definitive answer and you won't ever expect 2 guitarist to share the same view on who the good guitarist are and who aren't.
#3
Objectively the only way to measure it is by technical skill. So for example somone like Shawn Lane would be a much better guitarist than Hendrix.

But what you cant objectively measure is someones individual appeal to people, their "soul" as everyone likes to say.
#4
Good guitar players would never ask that question.
#5
Well your definition of a good guitarist in that case.

PS: to Azn_guitarist: lol not 'fast' like herman li. My definition of fast is that one plays licks at a high speed while maintaining atomic timing and attack.
#6
If you can play a decent, soulful melody line as well, then yeah, you're a good guitarist.

A good musician is a whole different thing. Do you understand theory like the circle of fifths, basic triads, major/minor/dim/aug scales? Can you read a lead sheet and play as you do? Improvise a proper melody/solo over a set chord backing? Play and understand different genres and styles?
#7
Quote by Grimriffer


PS: to Azn_guitarist: lol not 'fast' like herman li. My definition of fast is that one plays licks at a high speed while maintaining atomic timing and attack.


And so does he.

Speed does not define a good guitarist, and there's no reason why it should.
Quote by Demonikk
'Practice amp' = amp you practice with? In my case, Peavey 6505+ and 4x12
I don't do things small


Except children.
#8
If you are Paul Waggoner, you are a good guitarist.
Current Gear:

PRS Custom 24 (Whale Blue)
Jackson KVX10 (With SD Blackouts)
Line 6 POD XT Live
#9
your a good guitarist if you can compose a piece of music and get recognised for it by the listeners, the question is entirely irrelevant and would be at home in the pit.

doesn`t matter how much your gear costs, it`s what you do with it sonically
#10
I'd say a good guitarists is one that is proficient in every genre of playing. He should be versatile, quick-fingered and fast,yet to be able to use these abilities to produce wonderful music.
#11
Quote by ibanezgod1973
doesn`t matter how much your gear costs, it`s what you do with it sonically



This.

I think it was Chappers who recorded his EP with a £100 strat copy?
#12
a good guitarist is just someone who can write good music, thats it. As far as I care you can be the least talented individual ever, you might not know how to pull off squeelies, sweep, alternate picking, even muthaflippin hammer ons I dont care, if you write good music you're a good musician.
#13
A good guitarist to me is someone who has the ability to play fast, but does not overuse it. The most important thing is to play the way your songs require it. For example, someone like Herman Li would probably totally ruin a song like Nothing Else Matters.

Also, to create good music is what makes someone a good guitarist to me.
#14
Quote by Slapfunkah
a good guitarist is just someone who can write good music, thats it. As far as I care you can be the least talented individual ever, you might not know how to pull off squeelies, sweep, alternate picking, even muthaflippin hammer ons I dont care, if you write good music you're a good musician.

but not a good guitarist
#15
The person with the most expensive stuff.
#16
a good guitarist is just someone who can write good music

Playing guitar and writing music are two completely different skill sets. Being a great songwriter doesn't mean you're a great guitarist, i.e. Bob Dylan.
#17
Being good at playing depends what you're playing.
If you were a punk player, you wouldn't be considered bad cos you couldn't do fusion like Guthrie Govan.

Similarly, if you could do leads like Paul Gilbert, but couldn't do Andy McKee style acoustic stuff, you'd still be good in your field.
#18
Quote by Slicer666
And so does he.

Speed does not define a good guitarist, and there's no reason why it should.


Exactly some of the better pieces of played have been played rather at a timid pace rather then clocking the records for most notes played in a second. Sure if you can play at extreme speed then good on you but who cares it's what you do with your abilities that define you.
#19
someone who can play guitar well
#20
If it sounds good, then you're a good guitarist.
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#21
I always think somone who has a good feel and can build up dynamics and bring them back down so like Slash, Joe Walsh, Brian May, James Dean Bradfield...even John Rzeznik to an extent.
Mark Tremonti: I have my own mixer on stage so I can alter my volmes while on stage

Myles Kennedy: And why's that Mark?

Mark Tremonti:....I have trust issues with the sound guy



Selling a Marshall DSL401!
#22
To me a good guitarist is tight, original, versatile and knows his way around a guitar and not just plays the same riffs and chords in every piece he does. Also a guitarist has to be able to pull it off live! I have seen so many guitarists live you sucked on stage but were fantastic in the studio.


I am not one to conform, just because a guitarist is in a big national band doesn't make him good. So many people love this guy in this band or that guy in that band I do not buy into that. I see tons of local unknown bands who have guitarists better than most national bands that will live their life unnoticed and never get the attention they should.


If I was asked what guitarist I thought was good most of you probably never heard of the guy!

John
#23
A good guitarist is someone who can play over half of anything you put down in front of them, whether it would be clean, overdriven or distorted. A great guitarist is someone who can play almost anything you put in front of them, and an awesome guitarist can play absolutely anything you set down in front of them. That is just for a generally good guitarist. For a good clean guitarist, the same thing applies, but only to clean songs. So, by my standards, there are very few awesome guitarists, but many more great guitarists.
#24
Quote by Slapfunkah
a good guitarist is just someone who can write good music, thats it. As far as I care you can be the least talented individual ever, you might not know how to pull off squeelies, sweep, alternate picking, even muthaflippin hammer ons I dont care, if you write good music you're a good musician.


/thread minus the hammer-on/ alternate picking part
2008 M.I.A. HSS Strat
Marshall JCM 900 50w Dual Reverb
Last edited by LPstudioWRz28 at Dec 28, 2009,
#25
Being a good guitarist is no different than being a good bassist, drummer, singer, violin player etc. A good MUSICIAN will add to the song to enhance it, rather than do whatever he can to get people to notice his playing. The best guitar players, IMO, are the ones who make me focus on the song more than one or two band members. Examples of what I mean? Explosions In The Sky. God Is An Astronaut. Derek Trucks Band. John Mayer. Modest Mouse. The Beatles. Between The Buried and Me, and I'm being serious about that. Post-Rock has alot of those players. As does Indie music.

I'm not saying you shouldn't recognize the guitar. You're still gonna listen to the music and think "man that's some awesome guitar playing", I can't quite put this into words. It's something where you know what I'm talking about, or you sit here and read this and think I'm crazy.
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#26
If you can play what you play well then you are a good guitarist. For instance look at Steve Vai: extremely technical and very innovative. Now look at Kirk Hammet plays really fast and good, but far from technical if you really analyze what they play. Then there are blues players that in comparison what they play can be considered as very simple but it has a soul behind it, and that is what appeals to the person and having acquired that soul sound makes them a good guitarist. So it's REALLY relative to what you are looking for.
#27
Quote by fingerguy
If you can play what you play well then you are a good guitarist. For instance look at Steve Vai: extremely technical and very innovative. Now look at Kirk Hammet plays really fast and good, but far from technical if you really analyze what they play. Then there are blues players that in comparison what they play can be considered as very simple but it has a soul behind it, and that is what appeals to the person and having acquired that soul sound makes them a good guitarist. So it's REALLY relative to what you are looking for.
+1
#28
Being a good guitarist? Hmm. Knowing where to put the notes, When to play and when to stop.

Being a good composer is different though.
Always tin your strings.

_____

Don't be afraid to be honest.
#29
Quote by Grimriffer
but not a good guitarist


failtastic, you are.

Quote by Demonikk
'Practice amp' = amp you practice with? In my case, Peavey 6505+ and 4x12
I don't do things small


Except children.
#30
Quote by fingerguy
If you can play what you play well then you are a good guitarist. For instance look at Steve Vai: extremely technical and very innovative. Now look at Kirk Hammet plays really fast and good, but far from technical if you really analyze what they play. Then there are blues players that in comparison what they play can be considered as very simple but it has a soul behind it, and that is what appeals to the person and having acquired that soul sound makes them a good guitarist. So it's REALLY relative to what you are looking for.

Win.
#31
A good guitarist makes a sound that's pleasing to the ear with his guitar.
Quote by Spitz13
**** you, i live in uruguay.
#32
Quote by sstony
Good guitar players would never ask that question.


This is a good start

Here's some things I would look for if I were hiring a guitarist, in no particular order:

- strong rhythm, groove and feeling
- ability in a wide range of styles
- ability to read charts
- a strong chording and chord substitution system
- an understanding of how gear and technique affects tone/sound
- melodic inventiveness
- improvisational ability
- an unwillingness to play things that sound bad
- a sense of musical vision - what kind of music do you want to make?
- technique that never gets in the way
- professional equipment
- a sense of fun and excitement about playing

I'm sure there's plenty more, but that's what came to mind
GMW hot-rod telecaster
GMW soloist
PRS Custom 24
The Illegal Les Paul
CAE 3+SE
Soldano SM-100R
Splawn 4x12

“Life is on the wire…the rest is just waiting” - Papa Wallenda
Substitute the stage for the wire, and he's got it.
Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 28, 2009,
#33
A good guitarist composes good music. IDC if it's 10 bpm, if it's good, he's good.
Quote by Kumanji
The only thing that matters in music these days is money - genuinely talented artists are passed over entirely or corraled into making non-offensive, non-threatening average music that sells.
#34
Someone who doesn't have time to be posting on internet forums about what makes a good guitarist.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#35
Quote by MrFlibble
Someone who doesn't have time to be posting on internet forums about what makes a good guitarist.


I know it's not directed at me but the rebuttle to this one, is I would love nothing more than to be jamming right now, but some of us are at work and can't take are guitar with us. However, we can get our fix by coming here. At least I do; well that plus getting tabliture and instructions on the web and using the company printer to print them. But don't tell anyone. Shhhhhhh
#36
Modesty makes a good guitar player imo. Tbh i don't give a shit how many notes per minute you can shred at, or the gear you have. I've noticed a trend (in newer guitar players, say those who've been playing for about a year), the better, more expensive gear they have (especially amps) the worse they actually are, because they rely on the gear to make the noise. Someone who'se had to work away on some little £100 guitar with a £40 amp tends to be better than someone who has a £1000 guitar and a £400 amp but has been playing for the same length of time. Not a golden rule however.
#37
So much subjectivity in this thread. To me, if you are reaching/surpassing your GOALS as a guitarist, you are good. If your only goal is to be able to play power chord progressions and you have fun doing it, then you are good in my book. Comparing yourself to others who may have completely different goals is pointless.
#38
Quote by GuitarDTO
Comparing yourself to others who may have completely different goals is pointless.


Comparing yourself to other is indeed pointless.

The trick is not to look at a "good" guitar player and think, wow x is amazing, compared to him i'm rubbish. It's to go, wow x is amazing, but at one point x played just as well as me, no worse or better. I love the way x did that piece, i'll try to incorporate that style or feel into my music.

Inspiration > Comparison
#39
Quote by Todd Hart
Comparing yourself to other is indeed pointless.

The trick is not to look at a "good" guitar player and think, wow x is amazing, compared to him i'm rubbish. It's to go, wow x is amazing, but at one point x played just as well as me, no worse or better. I love the way x did that piece, i'll try to incorporate that style or feel into my music.

Inspiration > Comparison


+1


Times 345,567,5643,23,895,679


#40
To me, your proficiency as a guitarist is about having enough technical prowess and, equally, enough nuance of articulation to play what you need to play to express yourself properly. I don't see the sense in using objective factors such as alternate picking in judgement of a guitarist's skill; if the guitarist has no need to alternate pick to express himself musically, his ability to do so is a moot point.
This scheme of judgement means that you can judge two players as disparate in style as Brian May and Yngwie Malmsteen by the same criteria and both can still be recognised as the great players they are.
Page 1 of 2